Spare a billion or two to help build a real life version of Tolkien’s Minas Tirith?

(Courtesy Realise Minas Tirith)

(Courtesy Realise Minas Tirith)

There’s something about those CGI scenes of Middle Earth in Peter Jackson’s adaptation of The Lord of the Rings that really tickles the imagination. Apparently, they’re inspirational enough to prod one group in Southern England to put together a campaign to build a real life version of J.R.R. Tolkien’s hilled city of Minas Tirith. And they’re asking the world to fund it.

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Now open to the public, Zaha Hadid’s Italian Messner Museum is literally built inside a mountaintop

(Courtesy Zaha Hadid Architects)

(Courtesy Zaha Hadid Architects)

Zaha Hadid‘s Messner Mountain Museum Corones is perched 7,464 feet above sea level. The museum itself is embedded within Mount Kronplatz as if it was violently speared through the peak to overlook the breathtaking Dolomites region in the Italy. And you you can see the stunning views yourself now that the museum has officially opened to the public.

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Snøhetta brings a touch of modern design to the old cable car with this winning gondola in the Italian Alps

Bolzano Cable Car by Snohetta. (Courtesy Snohetta.

Bolzano Cable Car by Snohetta. (Courtesy Snohetta)

Norwegian architecture firm Snøhetta has been selected as the winner of a competition to design a cable car that will take visitors to the top of Virgolo Mountain, near Bolzano, Italy, for the first time in 40 years. The mountain has been practically inaccessible since the city closed its historic cable railway in 1976. The new cable car transit system will take visitors to the top in just one minute.

Continue reading after the jump.

MAD Studio Begins Construction of Organically-Curving Chaoyang Park Plaza Towers

Chaoyang Park Plaza. (Courtesy MAD Studio)

Chaoyang Park Plaza. (Courtesy MAD)

Nearly two years after preliminary discussions and planning, the Chinese studio MAD has set their project “Urban Forest” into motion, breaking ground in late April. Led by renowned architect Ma Yansong, MAD architects intends to transform the city of Beijing, China by erecting eco-friendly buildings—called Chaoyang Park Plaza—in the shape of natural landscapes commonly found in Southeast Asia.

More renderings after the jump.

Shigeru Ban’s Mt. Fuji Visitors Center Flips the Mountain Upside Down


(Courtesy Shigeru Ban Architects)

In the summer of 2013, Mt. Fuji was named a UNESCO World Heritage site. The designation was of the cultural rather than the natural variety, in part because of the way the mountain has “inspired artists and poets.” Japanese architect Shigeru Ban plans to add a quite literal architectural chapter to this legacy of inspiration in the form of a visitor center commemorating the mountain’s recently-minted status.

More after the jump.

Tower Implosion Makes Way For Mountains on Governors Island

City Terrain, East
Monday, June 10, 2013


It took only a few seconds for Building 877 on Governors Island—dynamited at various key points—to come crashing down in a pile of sand-colored dust (hopefully with no asbestos)! A group of about 150 lucky New Yorkers, including Raymond Gastil (heading back to his home in Seattle), Margaret Sullivan (H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture), Jonathan Marvel (Rogers Marvel Architects and one of the architect’s of the new Governors Island), Lance Brown, and The Guy Nordenson family, were invited to witness the “implosion” at 6:37a.m. on Sunday, June 9.

Videos and mountainous

Groundbreaking Pushes Bjarke Ingels’ Hedonistic Sustainability Into Spotlight

Tuesday, March 5, 2013
Amager Bakke Waste-to-Energy Plant. (Courtesy BIG)

Amager Bakke Waste-to-Energy Plant. (Courtesy BIG)

Against all odds, BIG-founder Bjarke Ingels is actually building a mountain-slash-ski-slope-slash-waste-to-energy-power-plant in his hometown of Copenhagen. Announced in 2011, the project nearly stalled during the approval process, but officials in the Danish capital broke ground on the facility on Monday. Called the Amager Bakke Waste-to-Energy Plant, the structure represents Ingels’ concept of Hedonistic Sustainability, the notion that a sustainable building shouldn’t only be green, but should also be fun.

Continue reading after the jump.

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